For this assignment, we were asked to find 3 online collaborations and write about them  The collaborations that I found have a lot to do with my career.  I work for a non-profit organization that is grant funded to provided HIV educational trainings to providers who serve HIV patients in TX & OK.  We are one of eleven centers across the country.  In 2009, AETC staff members from each of the eleven centers collaborated on a set of guidelines, entitled Network Orientation Guide – A Resource for Getting to Know the AETCs” detailing what AETCs do. This guide is a collection of tools, resources, and program descriptions developed by the network to help AETC staff better understand the network, their roles, and how to navigate useful resources. These guidelines benefits from being spread across all eleven centers because each workgroup member provided information from their center that they faced upon entering an AETC for the first time.  Since then many new employees have taken advantage of reading these guidelines upon entering the center and have stated that the guidelines were very helpful in providing the history and future goals of AETCs around the country. 

The next great online collaboration has to be when Microsoft decided to help and digitize the AIDS Memorial Quiltto offer close and personal access to the 48,000 panels.  Twenty-five years ago a group of friends gathered in a San Francisco apartment to memorialize companions who had died of AIDS. They used one of the oldest techniques around to honor their loved ones: they made a quilt, the now-famous AIDS Memorial Quilt, with unique panels for each person felled by the disease. Now including some 48,000 panels, the quilt has grown into a massive, public expression of grief. Its panels come from around the world. It was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

This collaboration has benefited from being spread across a more diverse group of participants because even though it didn’t start online, it has grown and become more useful for people who are trying to remember those they have lost.  Uses can now can zoom in to read the thousands of names—some in block letters, others stitched in cursive. You can count the rainbows, as well. You can also search the quilt by name or, if you know it, by the block number of a particular panel through the AIDS Quilt Touch interface. The site allows unique searches for each time the quilt has been displayed.This is important because the quilt is so massive that the Mall in Washington can’t hold it all. It’s always displayed in sections, so if you want to know where a special panel has been on view, recently, it’s now possible to find out. 

The third and final collaboration that I find very helpful is a blog entitled, ShareSpot that our national center hosts.  All of the AETCs are asked to input their personal stories/articles that have helped them become more efficient and help HIV/AIDS patients either directly or indirectly.  This blog has helped me tremendously in finding references, referrals, and solutions to the issues that my other AETC colleagues face in their centers around the country.